ForeWord Reviews

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Polliwog

Foreword Review

“Perch was old and wise, and she knew it was time to tell her friend what happens to every tadpole. Polliwog, one day you will change and leave the pond.” Stubborn and unwilling to accept change, Polliwog disagrees. She is happy with who she is and how she lives. She even grumbles about how annoying frogs are. Little does she know that one day soon, she will develop into a frog herself.

Fighting the inevitable changes, Polliwog finally has to face the day when her friend Perch tells her it’s time to go. “She was afraid of what was beyond the pond, and she was afraid she would never see her friend again.” Another culture awaited her above the surface and, although resistant, she eventually embraces her new life and finds happiness.

The author has two previous children’s books to her credit, including The Kaleidonotes and the Mixed-up Orchestra, which she co-wrote with her husband, Shane Bronson, and Tiny Snail. She has launched her own publishing company, which offers educational packets for teachers, and she has visited schools around the central United States, motivating children to read and write.

Immersed in a bilingual community in Arkansas, Bronson wrote Polliwog specifically for children whose second language is English, knowing that schools often use frogs as part of the curriculum. The English text and Spanish translation correlate in perfect harmony.

The watercolor illustrations are vivid, yet delicately shaded and finely detailed, and color plays a unique part in delivering the text’s meaning. Bronson uses color to express newness and life, and black-and-white images to depict what Polliwog is used to. For example, when Polliwog is complaining about frogs, she is a tadpole in a black-and-white underwater world. Above the water are lively colors that show the activity she will soon experience.

Polliwog is intended for children between the ages of three and ten. There are educational pages at the end of the book that explain the life cycle of the frog and share some facts about frogs. In addition to the scientific information, this charming story offers inspiring lessons in adapting to change and accepting differences.

Becky Rankens